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The New York Stock Exchange to Merge with Archipelago

Here is a look at some of this week's business highlights, including big changes at the world's biggest stock exchange, more worries about inflation in the United States, and a big aviation deal for France and China.

The New York Stock Exchange says it plans to merge with an electronic stock trading company called Archipelago.

The NYSE is the world's biggest stock exchange and one of the few places where stocks are still bought and sold by traders shouting and gesturing at each other.

Exchange chief John Thain says the two-century-old tradition of "open outcry" trading will continue on the NYSE alongside the electronic trading system, where buyers and sellers are matched by computer. But some analysts say the old system is not likely to survive for long.
A closely watched gauge of U.S. inflation has registered its biggest surge in five months.

A Labor Department report says sharp rises in the costs of energy, clothing and airfares pushed up the Consumer Price Index six-tenths of a percent in March.

Analysts say the so-called core rate of inflation, which removes volatile food and energy costs, jumped four-tenths of one percent in March. That is double the expected rate.
Thursday, China signed contracts to buy five Airbus super-jumbo jetliners and other Airbus passenger jets in deals worth billions of dollars.

The deals were signed in Beijing as French Prime Minister Jean-Pierre Raffarin visited China.

China also agreed to purchase high-tech trains and other equipment.

The deals were the latest sign of warming relations between France and China and coincided with French calls for ending the European Union arms embargo against Beijing.